Dear Doctorate – Year 3, week 1

Published on Friday 18th October 2019 by DJ Kirkby

Dear Doctorate Diary

Registration for year 3 is complete and I passed my transfer viva on Friday 13th September no less. I am absolutely stunned to have made it this far.

Since then life has been even more of a whirlwind than usual:

  • I had to give all my work to colleagues at short notice and fly to Canada to say my last goodbyes to my dear father. Thanks to my colleagues stepping up to help out, I got to spend 4 precious days with dad before he died. We were allowed 24 hour access to his room which had chairs and a couch that opened up into a double bed so I spent bout 16 hours a day there. He was unconscious but I held his hand, talked to him, read to him, traded some banter with my brothers as well as sharing our memories of our life with dad.  I’d like to believe dad was aware we were all there with him, in fact he may have been wishing we’d shush for a while! Dad died just after sunset on the 24th September which is the same day my brother was killed many decades ago. I’ll now be able to grieve ‘two for the price of one’, lucky me.
  • On the 9th Oct (three days after I returned from Canada) I had a dodgy looking mole removed from my right glute leaving a hole which needed six stitches to close it. The stitches don’t come out until the 23rd which means I  can’t do the Great South Run on the 20th. I applied for a deferral or refund 6 weeks before the event and this was their reply:

    Unfortunately we don’t have a deferral policy and cannot offer refunds or transfers at this stage. The only option is to withdraw (you don’t need to take any further action)


  • I ended up working the entire week I should have had off sick post mole op because I had two days of in-uni compulsory attendance doctorate study sessions (they only happen twice a year) followed by the exams for my unit and then prep for teaching for the next few weeks. So there was no way I could be absent unless in hospital / unable to get out of bed. So I did a lot of standing / sitting on just my left glute for 5 days. Although the op area is still quite bruised and swollen, it’s feeling more comfortable 8 days post op, thank goodness.
  • After much angst I was granted the money for user licenses for the VRLE so I am able to proceed with my doctorate research. That was quite stressful after all the work I have done changing the teaching days to fit with use of VRLE as well as the work I have put into my doctorate so far, and I am so grateful all that time hasn’t been wasted.
  • Then, perhaps unsurprisingly, I came down with a cold which turned into laryngitis. I’m feeling quite tired now but I know I just need to carry on carrying on and I know I’ll get to the other side of the tunnel at some point. Looking forward to a week off over the Christmas period!

Year 2, Week 48 in review: read week 48 by clicking here

Publishable doctorate words written -Abstract submitted for oral presentation to the NETNEP 2020 conference. Abstract submitted for interactive presentation to the PG Conference.
Doctorate assignment words written – zero of the 10,000 of thesis due by Dec 1st.
Cups of tea drunk –  Lost count, tea is so perfect, more tea please.
Miles run – Zero, because stitches!
Kilometres swam – Zero, because stitches.
Miles kayaked – Zero, because stitches.
Miles cycled – Zero because stitches.
Cakes baked –  Check out my Instagram page or my recipe page for bakes.
Crafting  done- None, so many ideas, so little time
Books read for pleasure –  Manymanymany, because 20 hour journeys to and from Canada  (see 2019 reading page for link to book reviews)
Books read for doctorate –
Movies / videos watched for doctorate
Articles read for doctorateVirtual reality to help ease pain in labour , Becoming researchers: doctoral students’s developmental process,
Blogs read for doctorate –
Research undertaken
Meetings with doctorate supervisors – I now have two official supervisors: Dr. Isa Rega and Dr. Wendy Marsh. I had my first supervision meeting on the 11th Oct.
Meetings with ALN / LD support – Support tutorials to be agreed up to April next year
Average level of guilt felt when trying to squeeze doctorate days in work diary – I’m not even trying to do this at the moment
Overall average stress level – quite high.
Average success rate – not applicable as I am in limbo as I haven’t started writing thesis chapters yet

Plan for  November.

  • Write draft of first thesis chapter
  • Begin research
  • Try to work less than 10 -12 hours a day

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